Black Friday: It’s an annual family tradition in SW La.

Published 7:01 am Saturday, November 25, 2023

Lauren Mott, and her mother-in-law, Marcia, have been Black Friday shopping together for the past 13 years.

“It’s so different now than what it used to be,” Lauren said.

Customers used to camp out overnight before they digested their Thanksgiving dinner then race through the store doors in search of the perfect gift.

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Though the deals remain, how they’re shopped has changed with the ease of online shopping tamping down Black Friday crowds.

“Ever since COVID — when they started the online sales — you can do all your shopping beforehand so the spirit of Black Friday has changed,” Lauren said.  “It was so fun seeing the stuff lined up in the aisles and the crowds. I do love online shopping, but for Christmas presents I prefer to shop inside the store.”

Her mother-in-law said she, too, misses the shopping frenzy.

“It’s not as fun now,” Marcia said as she perused the toy section of Target. “It was so fun to run and race to find your stuff.”

Cousins Melissa Wylie and Amanda Lewis started their own Black Friday shopping tradition three years ago, following the death of their grandmother.

“She lives in Houston and I live here and our families used to always get together for Thanksgiving,” Wylie said. “Once our grandmother died, we stopped doing all that. All the traditions kind of died, too, so we’re making our own traditions together.”

Both Wylie and Lewis have young girls, all of whom were born prematurely.

Wylie’s twin daughters were born at 27 weeks and Lewis’ daughter was born at 28 weeks.

“Our original due dates were three days apart,” Lewis said. “We’ve always been close and now our daughters are all best friends.”

The pair — decked in green shirts that read “Gobble, Wobble, Wobble” and were made by Wylie — said they make sure each Black Friday shopping trip to buy their daughters’ Elf on the Shelf goody bags.

Their tradition extends into Saturday, when they their families head to Grant Christmas Tree Farm in search of the perfect Christmas tree — and a visit with Santa Claus.

“It’s just a great time together that we look forward to each year,” Lewis said.